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Increasing Your Internet Car Sales Through a Stronger Dealership Website

Posted on: August 23rd, 2012 by credit

You dealership website is the online counterpart of your on-site dealership. This means that you must give as much importance to it as you give to the on-site dealership. Moreover, your dealership website can also operate the same as your on-site dealership. You can actually turn it as your sales machine to increase your internet car sales. Making it stronger is just the key.

Content

There must be a blog incorporated in your dealership website to give your visitors some useful materials to read when they drop by. The content must be relevant, timely, fresh, genuine, and helpful. Find out what interests your prospects and the things they most likely want to learn about. Content like news, car reviews, and tips capture the interest of your prospects. Publish content that are compelling and engaging and free from spelling and grammatical errors. Proofread all written content before publishing them.

Keywords play an important role on written content. Research the most searched keywords relevant to car buying, car financing, and the like and use these keywords in your articles. This way, you will drive more traffic to your site, making it more visible in the world wide web, and eventually increase your internet car sales.

Interesting and relevant photos and videos also make your website more appealing.

Digital Showroom

You cannot just tell people to go to your site for the sake of driving traffic to it. Make sure that when they get there, they will see and get something important from it. Your inventory page serves as your virtual car lot. It must showcase all the car models available in your on-site dealership. Understand that the way you present your inventory can greatly impact your prospects’ buying decision.

What then should your potential customers see in your digital showroom? Show various angles of each car model. Provide accurate description and complete specs. Indicate the car prices as well. Some car shoppers get suspicious about a dealership when the prices are hidden. Enumerate also other products and services that you offer.

Calls to Action

Although you should not overdo calls to action, make sure that they are everywhere where they should be. Calls to action such as “Get free quote now!”, “Compare prices”, “Find your next car”, and “Live Chat” are some of the must-haves calls to action. Calls to action are necessary as they compel your potential customers to take action on what they just have seen in your website. Do not also forget to display your social media buttons wherever appropriate.

Auto Loan Delinquencies Low, So What?

Posted on: August 22nd, 2012 by credit

The rate of auto loan delinquencies in the United States has dropped in this year’s second quarter according to the report by credit bureau TransUnion. Delinquency rate is down to 0.33 percent from 0.36 percent in the first quarter of this year. On a year-on-year comparison, it has dropped by 25 percent already since last year.

However, analysts from the reporting body TransUnion and another credit bureau Experian Automotive both said that the delinquency rate on auto loans will not continue to drop until the next quarter of this year but assured that it will still remain to be low.

The study found that borrowers have learned to put their car payments on top of their other credit obligations since the recession. This is because auto loan borrowers deem their cars as necessary and important for them to continue running their daily errands.

So, as a dealer, how should you respond to this recent trend in the auto lending aspect of the industry? Here are some ideas:

Stay online. If you are satisfied with the results you’re getting from your lead generation and general F&I efforts, keep being on the lookout for more finance auto leads in the Internet for they are surely coming in. The results of the TransUnion report might be telling you that borrowers are getting late in their payments less so there is really nothing to be so afraid of in dealing with them. In fact, an analyst from the credit bureau himself said that loans are gearing toward nonprime borrowers more. Stay where you are getting your finance auto leads from and focus on closing these deals.

Don’t play favoritism. Subprime leads are indeed hot in the industry now but it does not mean that you should only fix your eyes on them. Consider all kinds of borrowers and make sure you are not giving too much attention to one in expense of another.

Review your strategies. Do not be so satisfied if your lead generation and sales tactics are working well. Be reminded that you should review your plans and strategies regularly and see if they are still in-tune with the current behavior of consumers and the competition in the industry. Perhaps you can think of new tactics considering that borrowers now are more responsible with their car payments.

The decline in auto loan delinquencies is good news for the whole automotive industry. It encourages auto lenders to accommodate more borrowers and makes auto loan approval easier for borrowers. Keep track with the trends and find out where they might be pointing you.

Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Auto Dealership Marketing

Posted on: August 17th, 2012 by credit

Social media is now esteemed as one of the most powerful marketing tools in the Internet. Dealerships love it for its rapidness in sharing information and the interconnectedness of numerous networks. Social media has also proven its capability to boost dealership sales. Marketing auto dealerships through social media is indeed a trend in the industry that’s keeping the environment highly competitive, provided that it is done rightly. Look at the following dos and don’ts of marketing auto dealerships through social media.

Do provide relevant and engaging content.

Social media marketing is still, in a way, all about content—articles, photos, videos, and graphics. Content has to be relevant to the needs and interests of your prospects and customers. Things like car reviews, dealership promos, inventory updates, event announcements, news, photos of happy customers at the dealership, and high-quality video testimonials are excellent content. Content must also be engaging. Be creative and persuasive with whatever you post on your pages.

Do respond to your followers/fans.

Whether you like it or not, people online react to your posts. Generally speaking, people either like or hate what they see. Whatever the reaction is, your voice needs to be heard. Reply to comments, likes, tweets, etc. If you encounter a very unhappy customer or prospect, don’t deal with him angrily. You can opt not to react or if you have already responded to him, call off the conversation. In addition, make your responses personal and quick. It is obvious that late responses are less appreciated.

Don’t use social media for sales and sales alone.

It’s true that social media can boost your sales; however, it is rather the effect than the result of your social media marketing efforts. Believe it or not, online car shoppers know if they are just being sold to or genuinely helped. Of course, they appreciate the latter than the former. If you are using social media as sales generator, then you are doing it all wrong. Social media, from its name “social”, is basically used in businesses to build relationships rather than sell. Focus on sales and watch your prospects shy away from your dealership, or worse, from the brand that you carry.

Don’t ditch social media.

It was pointed out earlier that marketing auto dealerships through social media is a trend in the industry. It is therefore a big mistake to lag behind and not keep pace with your competitors. If you have not yet included social media in your dealership marketing strategies, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities for growth. Social media does not only help you reach out to prospects and customers but also make your dealership more visible and popular to your target market.

How Not to Lose Leads in Live Chat

Posted on: August 16th, 2012 by credit

Live chat is one of the newest technologies that is widely used now by businesses in their websites and the automotive industry is one of its patron. Live chat is easy: A salesperson simply has to stay online to provide quick answers to incoming queries. A prospect sends his message and gets an answer immediately. However, not all dealerships experience the full benefits of live chat. Perhaps, they’re doing it all wrong resulting in poor internet lead management and lead conversion. Here is a quick guide in using live chat programs to effectively generate and convert car loan leads.

Never sell right away. Live chat is not designed to immediately turn a lead into a sale. It is not purposed to make selling that convenient for businesses. If you persuade the lead to take your offer in the early part of your conversation, there is a tendency that he or she will lose interest. Most shoppers do not like being sold to immediately. Instead, focus on providing them the information they need and in building rapport.

Ignoring questions is a huge mistake. Definitely. You are using live chat to respond to car loan leads quickly and ignoring their questions just doesn’t make sense. If you don’t understand the question, don’t hesitate to ask follow-up questions to clarify what does the prospect mean. If you don’t know how to answer the question, tell the lead that you will get back to him shortly. With this intention, it is important then for your salespeople to be knowledgeable about your loan programs, car models, and other products and services.

Be conscious of your tone. Live chat is like telemarketing, except that you communicate with the prospect through chat. Nevertheless, you still need to be conscious of how you sound like with the words that you use. Make sure that you always sound friendly and willing to help.

Do not ask for contact information immediately. Although it is important that you never forget to ask for the lead’s contact information before you end the conversation, asking for it too early could have a negative impression on the prospect. Prospects won’t start chatting with you with small talk. Most, if not all, would ask their question right away. You need to attend to that first before getting to your other agenda.

Be persistent. It is totally wrong to think that the end of your conversation with the prospect is the end of the sales process. On the contrary, it is just the beginning. Since you already have the prospect’s contact information, send them promotional emails or call them up. Be persistent in following them up until they make a decision.

How to Sell Certified Used Cars Today

Posted on: August 15th, 2012 by credit

Are you still generating enough used car leads? Are you even aware of another shift in the behavior of car shoppers today? A study completed by AutoTrader.com and Morpace revealed that car shoppers have a wider range of options when it comes to the type of car that they will buy.

According to the report, 60 percent of the new-car shoppers surveyed say they consider buying a certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicle, and nearly 30 percent of this group is considering to buy a CPO vehicle for the first time.

The top reasons cited for considering CPO vehicles are peace of mind and warranty coverage, with nearly 70 percent and more than half of the car shoppers surveyed saying so, respectively. The respondents indicated that since CPO vehicles have warranties from their respective original manufacturers, buying one gives them a peace of mind. Further, a considerable number of car shoppers, almost 70 percent, are willing to spend more on CPO vehicles than on non-certified used cars.

This year, CPO sales was recorded with a 7.7 percent increment from last year’s sales. CPO units sold in March this year likewise increased to more than 174,000 units, increasing by nearly 17 percent from the number of units sold the previous month.

If you have been monitoring car shoppers’ behavior for the last two or three years, you should notice that there have been significant and interesting shifts, same thing that the vice president of automotive insights in AutoTrader Rick Wainschel observed.

With that in mind, you should be taking advantage of the opportunity now by formulating some strategies. The study implies that your sales team can freely offer your used car leads other car options. Of course, there are still several factors, in general, that car shoppers consider when buying a car. Moreover, the likelihood of a car shopper to buy a CPO vehicle does not solely depend on the results of the study but still on several factors. Nonetheless, you already know that it is not far from possible for new-car shoppers to turn into used car leads.

The next strategy is basic: Keep a CPO customer’s loyalty. The reasons are as well basic and obvious. Loyal customers can come back for another CPO car purchase or for service or they can refer your dealership to their family and friends—things that can boost your dealership’s sales with less effort on your part.

Lastly, educate your prospects. Understand that not all car shoppers know what CPO programs are all about. Basically, CPO vehicle buyers get to buy a used car that is almost like new at a used-car price. Pretty good deal, isn’t it? But are your prospects aware of the benefits they can get from your CPO program? Make sure they do because many car shoppers today are either skeptical or have a wrong idea of it.

 
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